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Building my own gaming system - need opinions!

(21 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by CompFreak247
  • Latest reply from CompFreak247
  • Topic Viewed 4647 times

CompFreak247
Posts: 12

So, I'm building my first computer. I want a complete system, meaning everything I order needs to be, well, everything. In other words, UPS, monitor, and speakers are supposed to be included in the price. I was aiming for $1,600 USD, but it turned out to be closer to 1,700. I'm a risk taker who doesn't mind the bleeding edge, so I sprang for a 64GB Core SSD after talking to one of the OCZ CS reps.

I probably will not be overclocking, except to up the ram to around 1230 Mhz (covered in the lifetime warranty). My CPU cooler is probably overkill, but I would like this to run fairly quiet and as cool as possible (Longer lifespan). My main heat problems will be stemming from the GTX 260; the Zalman CPU cooler should keep my e8500 running nice and cool, the OCZ Reaper RAM has huge heatsinks designed for overclocking, and an SSD generates no heat or noise whatsoever. I'm putting a blower next to the GTX to try and keep that cool; my biggest concern is if\how the GTX 260 fits inside the Antec Three Hundred. Antec says it will fit any of the 8800 series (The 8800 GTX is roughly the size of the GTX 260, I believe), but posts on another forum lead me to believe that I may have to do some modding. I picked the e8500 over the qx6600 as I will be running older programs and games not optimized for quad core.

Without further ado, here's the components list (Price includes shipping and taxes; parts were ordered yesterday). I'd like to know if there is any issues I should be aware of, or any components I should change.

Post opinions\comments\thoughts, please. I will try to answer any questions. I believe I'm getting a good deal for my money; I configured a similar system on dell, and it cost far more than this.

Thank you.

Posted 6 years ago
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wallaceb
Posts: 214

the lighton SATA drive, does it come with the SATA cable, it is surprising how many times it does not. I am sure your mother board will come with enough, but small things like that you need to keep in mind.

is there a particular use this computer is going to be performing, like gaming, or is it a "general use" computer?

you may want to get a more powerful UPS, the one on your list might not be powerful enough. if it is, you will have very little run time

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

CompFreak247,

I'm not a gamer but have two suggestions as a Builder. Try to find a copy of XP PRO Retail or OEM. XP Home just doesn't cut it in my opinion. Also (include) a $10 buck Floppy Disk Drive. You will Never Regret that small obsolete investment.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

The SSD is a good idea, but a little early. The good ones are still too expensive. I am amazed you got this one so cheap. Have you looked into the performance specs. For a desktop I would rather go for disks (there are 10.000rpm ones around). Only 64GB's is pushing it.
And why on earth would you want to pollute such a nice system with XP. This is yesterdays OS that MS stopped marketing. But then some people like antiques.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

I dont know which model of Acer monitor that is, but try and have a look at one in action.
They get very mixed reviews.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate the fast posts.

@wallace: My motherboard comes with 4 SATA cables, so I think I'm good. This computer is going to be fairly general use, but will be playing "oldish" games. Thing is, I want it to be able to handle "oldish" games in 5-7 years, so it should at least plow though today's modern games. The UPS is powerful enough; the Antec EarthWatts power supply is very efficient, my motherboard is designed for ultra low power, my SSD uses very little energy, and I'm only running 2 drives. The only thing I have to worry about is the GTX, but even that uses very little power on idle. From what I've read, I expect this system to use around\less then 150W idle, and peak at ~300W under full load. The graphics card peaks at 185W and idles at 55-65, but everything else seems to use very little power. Runtime is not much of an issue; I only want it long enough to shut down safely. I like this as it comes with an LCD to show run time left without the monitor, is cheap compared to many other ones I looked at, has an above-average warranty, has on-line monitoring and power filtering (smoothing out the power modulations, boosting volate during a brownout), and (my favorite) has a lifetime $150,000 connected equipment warranty. Sure, I'll probably never need it, but it makes me feel safer.

@raph: XP Pro really doesn't offer anything I would use, and I can't get it for anywhere near $84 shipped. I appreciate the suggestion, though.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@whs,

The reason the Game guys like XP is that it is faster than Vista according to what I have read. Of course, if you cut off all the Security Features, then both may be the same. Cost could be another factor. Don't know.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

@whs: This is the "bleeding edge", it comes out tomorrow (Pre ordered). Its OCZ's new Core series; it outperforms many of the 1000+ SSDs out there now, and blasts pasts the WD VelociRaptor (My other choice) in ever benchmark except writes, where it isn't much slower. Its rated for 80-92 MBs writes / 120-130 Mbs reads, and benchmarks seem to prove it.

@Lighthouse: Sorry I didn't include model number (Acer AL2216Wbd), but it seems pretty good. I've read 4-5 professional reviews, all favorable. It has nearly 1,500 reviews on Newegg, and has a 5 star rating. I was thinking about a Samsung, but this appears to be very good quality for considerable cheaper. Most of my items are on sale\have rebates, and so are quite a bit cheaper then if I had paid full price for them.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

As for XP, I'm running Vista on my laptop. When vLited, it runs almost as fast as XP, and runs quite smoothly. However, I have some older games and hardware that I want on XP, plus as rah said it has a significant performance advantage over XP.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, XP being faster than Vista is a saga. Yes, there may be some specific cases where that is true, but the same goes the other way (from all the performance comparisons I have read). And a Vista Home Premium you can find for $100.

Posted 6 years ago
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wallaceb
Posts: 214

that is why i myself duel boot, i use Vista for about 99% of my computer uses, but i use XP for gaming.
i do agree with Lighthouse, i never buy a monitor without looking at it in real life first. i will go to a store, and see what i like, then go online to find it cheaper.

and i agree with whs, you can get performance close to the SSD drive with a good quality 10,000 ROM SATA drive, and you will get more space, and the same price.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

All,

See !! Everyone has different opinions immediately SO that is why I said "I don't know" :) :)

Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

Smart, rick, smart. No, vista really isn't faster then XP though - I have a good Inspiron 1720 laptop, and the default Vista install is like molasses. I put XP on there, and was amazed at how fast it ran. I later vLited Vista and put it back on; it now runs almost as fast as XP, but with Vista's handy features. Still, I need backwards compatability, and I don't want to deal with a dual boot (switching every time I go from produtivity software to games? no thanks.)

As for the hard drive vs. SSD debate, the only hard drive that can come anywhere close to the Core is the VelociRaptor, which costs $60 more, and is the fastest commonly available desktop drive. However, in every read and real-world performance test, the SSD mops the floor. Subjective reviews reveal that the SSD "feels" much faster also. I also like the no heat\noise, as I'm trying to keep things as cool as possible. Space is a non issue; believe it or not, excluding my pictures and downloads, I'm currently using ~8 GB (out of 160 GB) on my laptop, with Vista. I have all the software I need, such as Office 2007 and Photoshop Elements, but thanks to vLite and careful pruning, I keep my disk usage very low. All of my data will be stored on an external drive and backed up to my laptop, so I except disk usage to never break 10 GB with XP and some games. It might go up a bit for the latest games, but I don't plan on ever even halfway filling the 64 GB (And if I do, a 500 GB Caviar is $100).

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

CompFreak247,

From my view point if I were to build a game machine AND (IF) unlimited by cost:

XP Pro running in Total Classic Mode with Services limited. (Setup issue)

(2) VelociRaptors in Raid 0 with total partition backed up with Ghost to a Clean Image.

4 Gigs of DDR3 Memory @ 1600

Intel Fastest Quad Core Plus (OVER CLOCKED MAX)

2MS-3000 to 5000 Contrast 22"-24" flat screen monitor. More specs apply. (Your Choice)

DD3 large memory Dual Monitor Output Video Card (Your Choice). Could go Cross Fire (Your Choice).

Sound card according to purpose used for. (Your Choice)

(8) layer Asus Mother Board with Intel Chipset that supports all components.

These components are the heart of speed, bandwidth, transfer rate, etc. etc.....

The rest of components are standard machine support items.

Don't forget $10 buck Floppy Disk Drive.

THIS IS ABBREVIATED, NON-TECHNICAL AND PROBABLY HAVE FORGOT SOMETHING IN POST SO BE NICE !!

Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

Not bad, but 2\4 SSDs in RAID will blast away any hard disk out there. If random writes are your thing, use MFT to boost them to near what the VelociRaptor can do. 2 of the CORE series in RAID will get you over 230 MB\s real world performance; they scale quite nicely. I'm turning into an SSD believer, but I'll have to see what the reliability is like before I start trumpeting the advantages of SSD. Interesting build, but if we're talking about unlimited by cost, I'd be running a 64 core with 2 TB of memory (Was just looking at a screenshot of a system like this), and at least 4 Dell 30" flat panels. A RAID 50 setup with OCZ SSD's would be nice, along with enough battery backup to run for a week. Its nice to dream... Sadly, I'm still hindered by money. However, after hearing various opinions I decided to swap out my Zalman cooler for the latest and greatest XIGMATEK HDT-S1283. Runs almost noiseless at high speed, and should keep my E8500 within 12 C of ambient temperature... Almost unbelievable. And it costs half what the Zalman does. It also installs in seconds, compared to the Zalman that requires a bolt through connection. That's why I post on forums like these :-)

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

CompFreak247,

TOTALLY AGREE concerning SSD. I have not reviewed the reliability issues as they are so new HOWEVER they are coming just as Flat Screens replaced CRTs.

As for cooling, that's an art almost. With the new low voltage 45MM Intel chips, temperature will become less of a problem in the future.

This old Dual Core machine I'm running on today is showing 38C with (6) case fans plus an oversize CPU heat sink and fan. Sounds like a jet (LOL) (LOL) however it will over clock until I get to around 68C (Chip Shutdown). I don't over clock it however as there is really no need to for normal apps. Just puts undue strain on the system and the amount of
(re-fetches) on the memory would far out weigh any over clock benefit.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
CompFreak247
Posts: 12

Yeah, my old p4 system from dell seems to run hot, never put a temp control program on it though. My laptop runs at a nice 50-62 C temperature under load, proving that we're getting better. Still, heat and lifespan have a direct relationship; if heat goes down, the life goes up. Sure, some say that any system will be obsolete before it fails, but both my old laptop and desktop have been having problems before I replace them. My desktop seems to have some weird motherboard malfunctions - USB ports are working sporadically, things often freeze up, the whole system is slow etc. That's why I'm getting this one with an SSD (Theroetical flash lifespan under heavy use: 51 years with a full disk overwrite 3 times a day, I would be writing far less then that). Sure, these things are never going to get anywhere close to that, but it seems to be working fairly well, enough so that they can assign a 50% higher MTBF then most drives. Amazing for a MLC flash drive. So long as this thing works, I'm going to be hooked on it.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

CompFreak247,

Agree. Go for the SSDs !!

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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CompFreak247
Posts: 12

Wow, first person in any forums not to say I'm an idiot for using SSDs :-) I think I'm going to go with Vista x86, though. I'll just buy new versions of my incompatible programs.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Congratulations! Vista was a good decision. And nobody said you are an idiot for going with the SSD - it is just, that at this moment, you get a better beat for the buck with a traditional disk. I am sure, in a couple of years, that will be different. So you are no idiot - just an early bird.

Posted 6 years ago
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